Ducks, Clocks, Sunshine and Bananas

I make no apologies for the content of this post…I need to drain the brain, such as it were, so be warned…weirdness inside…

now that I’ve scared off the timid… 

Last night, I went to my favorite ring vendor to drool, dream, and torture my credit card.  What do I see front and center?


The duckies are spreading 😀

And how appropriate – for a Tweet to appear featuring one of them?  Maybe I can convince Twitter to start calling them ‘Quacks’ instead of ‘tweets?’

To celebrate, I went to my Etsy account, and scheduled a sale…from March 22nd to the 29th, I’ll be knocking off 15% of the sale price of any of the Duck YEAH sculptures listed on the site, so I can spread them far and wide.



And, in COMPLETELY unrelated news…we’ve shifted our clocks again to be on daylight savings time.  Not sure what daylight I’m saving by this move (as far as I can tell, the sun shines the length of time it’s gonna shine no matter what our clocks say…), and I’ve gone from getting out of bed while the sun is JUUUUST peeking around the buildings to it being dark and cold again.  I’m sure there was some little toadie in some office somewhere in this country who thought it would be nice to get up BEFORE the sun, and everyone should be so ‘lucky.’

To which I say “Dude…get a damn cat, and leave the food bowls empty overnight.”  I can guarantee you’ll be getting up at Feed-me-O’Clock and the rest of us can sleep in!



And…slightly related but yea, that’s a stretch here…I had a hard time falling to sleep last night, partly because of the yearly issue with the aforementioned clocks and sun, but also because I had an earworm running rather loudly in my head.

The fun part (or annoying, as this one was chasing off the illusive ZZZ’s…) it the worms were singing it wrong.  I now am utterly convinced there’s a line in Weird Al’s ‘Tacky” song that goes…

“banana-flavored love machine…”


I may have to step away from the iPod for a few days…


First World Artist Problems

So…I had a thing happen on Etsy today.


I listed out my stainless steel dodecahedron July of 2016.  It languished on the site, got some views, some favorites, but never attracted a buyer.  I priced it higher than most of the goodies on my store for a couple of reasons.

  1. It’s 16 gauge stainless steel rings.  A LOT of them.
  2. Stainless is a right royal bitch to work with.  It fights (and sometimes BITES) back.
  3. It took several hours of hard work time.  It also spent some time languishing in the “what…how…am I doing this RIGHT???” project pile on a corner of my desk.  While there IS a tutorial on M.A.I.L., it’s one of the very scaled down ones, and didn’t offer much help besides: just study the form, it should be easy…
  4. It wasn’t.
  5. It was proceeded by older brothers who never really got past the ‘well, THAT didn’t work’ pile, and got deconstructed.
  6. It was the first time I EVER successfully completed a 3D form.


Early this morning, someone bought my ball.

I’m kinda on the fence with this one.  On one hand, I’m happy that someone appreciates sculptural forms enough to purchase one from me…but on the other hand….

it’s kinda like selling my first born.

Once I got over the sentiment, I wrapped him up in paper and a box, plastic on the outside of that box, more stuffing and a bigger box, which I then taped the living hell out of.  He’ll make it, as safely as I can make it, all the way to California.

I even hugged the box for good measure…

My toys travel farther than I do 😀

Life’s Just Ducky

It was a good weekend here in the frozen wastelands of Wisconsin.

First…it wasn’t FROZEN.  Saturday, with the sunshine, lack of wind, and Mother Nature having a hot flash, we saw temps raise above 50.

It.  Was.  WARM.

So I did what any self-respecting Wisconsinite did.  I went for a walk, to enjoy this breath of non-frozen fresh air…because it ain’t gonna last.

I did a good 2 miles, and got to speak with a portion of the river I haven’t had the opportunity to visit with since it got cold.

Jan 2018 river

I also played with a new weave called Borealis. (The chainmaille ‘purists’ out there in the world call it ‘True Aura Sheet,’ but I don’t believe in being that formal.)  It’s a weave I’ve drooled over for quite a bit.  And, because it’s a weave with a good write-up on the M.A.I.L. site, but no formal tutorial, my earlier attempts have ended up in the ‘Well, THAT didn’t work’ pile more often than not.

Because I was soooooo excited to get this weave in my head and hands…I tossed out three pieces.

A medallion, which was the first piece.  This ended up rigid and slightly cupped, so expanding it out farther is probably not possible without the weave physically locking up (the pattern simply tightens down so far that you can no longer ‘insert ring A in position B’).  BUT – what it ends up as is tantalizing.  I can see colors turning this piece into a real head-turner.

borealis pendant

After the initial weaving produced this cupped, round form, I tried with slightly different rings…and came up with this:

Borealis sphere stand

As you can see, I went the wrong way – the rings used in this form curled rather aggressively, and I only did a single ‘strand’ of the stuff.  It was quite easy to stitch the two ends together seamlessly, though…and it makes a wonderful, rigid circle, perfect as a display stand for circular objects of all sizes.

Which leads me to my third object:

1st rubber ducky

It’s a Chainmaille RUBBER DUCKY!

I gotta admit – this one was FUN.  Sculptural forms in maille are really where I live and breathe.  Granted, the form still needs a bit of work.  The head isn’t attached to the crest of the duck seamlessly – I gotta fix that.  The duck’s bill isn’t completely solid in the form, I gotta fix that, too.  And…I really want to add color to this guy, which carries it’s own laundry-list of troubles.

But is a rubber ducky made out of little metal rings still a RUBBER ducky?  Or just a very RubberDucky-ish form?


Visions of a Celtic Bastard


Wow…that’s a weird title…

It’s also the name of a brand new – never before configured – chainmaille weave.

And I’m the one who did it  😀

insert bragging rights here…

See…I had an idea.

Yea…me & ideas.  Usually make the household run for the hills…

I’ve been playing with Celtic Visions, which is the core chain weave used to make those little flowers I’d been messing about with.

These…for a refresher…Single Unit

I took the flower form, and turned it into the balls I then gifted for the holiday.

Here…have a ball…

On Hook

And it’s also featured quite heavily in the holey grail/Tree of Life forms I’ve been developing…

Soooo…with this weave currently occupying the ‘hot seat’ in my head…

The muses LOVE to muck about with that hot seat stuff…

I really, REALLY wanted to sheet the weave.

‘Sheeting’ a weave, in chainmaille terminology, is when you add additional rows to a chain weave to make a larger-than-a-single-row chain of any chainmaille pattern.  Useful for making armor, belts, bags, and other sculptural elements out of little metal rings.

If you haven’t already guessed, I’ve got a rather large weakness for sculpture made outta those little metal rings…


So, with the Muses fully fueled with starches (well, it WAS the holidays, and I DID cheat more than just a bit on the Keto thing…) and pliers in hand, I started to play with the pattern.




Dutifully, I posted a shot of the weave on my chainmailler’s group on Facebook, looking for someone to ‘name’ the weave.   See…I figured if my logic strings wandered along these easy pathways, someone HAD to have configured this weave before, and I wanted to give it the proper name.

The enthusiasts I associate with in my group are big on keeping the names of patterns ‘pure.’  No sense in having a dozen names for the same damn weave, after all.  We often quote the website M.A.I.L. as the leading repository of weave names, descriptions, and a LOT of tutorials.

Imagine my surprise when I find out this new weave does NOT appear anywhere on the M.A.I.L. website….

That means I get to claim it and name it.

In my mind, calling it ‘Visions of a Celtic Bastard’ is perfect, because that’s essentially what I did – I bastardized the original Celtic Visions weave simply by dropping one ring out of the chain form, and stabilizing it once it spreads to a sheet form.


My chainmailler’s group has gone completely berserk over this new weave.  So far, I’ve had multiple deman…er…requests for a tutorial.  Someone wants to take the weave and make a ‘badass guitar strap,’ someone else has suggested it would make a fantastic watch band, and yet another wants to do a complete chainmaille vest outta the stuff.

So…if you don’t hear from me for a bit, I’m currently ‘chained’ to my computer, writing a how-to for a new weave.


At any rate…it’s purdy 😀




This started as a little lark about a month ago.

Single Unit

The chainmaille form is called the Celtic Star.  Basically, it’s a short length of Celtic Visions (WHERE do we maillers come up with these weird names???) chain circled around to join with itself and all the outside frilly bits tied up nicely with additional rings.

Well, I attached a couple of these stars together.   And…meh.  Took that apart, and attached a different way.  That’s when the muse woke up.

Day 8

Why is there a voice in my head right at this very moment screaming “DUCK AND COVER!”?

See – the 4 flowery forms had attached in a configuration that was VERY familiar.

So I rather quickly built up 2 more stars, and put them in juuuuuust the right spots.

Half Ball


I had half a dodecahedron…my favorite little 12-sided Platonic Solid.

I liked this form so much, I immediately went out (well, in…as most of my jumpring suppliers are online) and got the right size rings in bright red and green.  I was making ornaments for the SQO’s family for Christmas.

Look pretty, no?

On Hook


Yet another post about little metal rings in interesting configurations…

The pliers have been HOT, and the creation process boiling over in my head.  The muses must have gotten a hold of some serious caffeine pills.

Nothing stronger, thanks.  I don’t think I could handle THIS…


Got the Mobyzan hearts all lined up on Etsy and ready to publish, both the tutorial and the finished forms…just waiting until November 1st to do so, so October isn’t so ‘listing heavy’ when it comes time to renew the things.

I also started playing with the weave used to make the dice again.  The first time I went ‘off the tutorial’ I created collars from a single strip of the weave.

These ones, in case you’ve forgotten…

Shippo Tsunagi Choker

And I have once again wandered afield with this weave to pair it with a different focal.

See – I wanted to see how Metal Designz does their kits.  If I was going to approach them on kitting out either the Dragon or the Mobyzan, I wanted to assure myself that what they were sending people was quality stuff.  So I bought a new tutorial I’d drooled over for a while called  Her Majesty’s quilt  and picked up a kit from Metal Designz.

All for research, donchaknow (at least, that’s how I justified the spending 😀 )

Nice kits, if I do say so – I’m happy they’re going to be putting together supplies for the Mobyzan.

The Her Majesty’s Quilt necklace, when constructed as written, however, needed a bit of a punch up, as I was slightly unimpressed at the length of chain winding around the form.

Enter the muses with the aforementioned caffeine pills…

Because the weave used in the collars and the capture of the crystal in HMQ are both square – I thought “Why not?” and mashed the two together.


Can my muses cook, or what???

If any of you want to rip this beauty off my neck…it’s up on Etsy here.


Sheesh…am I writing about Chainmaille AGAIN?

I really can’t help it…I’ve had some interesting things come off the pliers lately, and I’m gonna share…


Chainmaille Dragon Final 2

When I completed the dragon tutorial, a couple of people in my chainiac group on the evil Book of Faces asked if there’d be a kit coming for this one.  A kit, for those not in the know, is when a jump-ring supplier offers a packet of rings in counts and sizes that were specifically put together for the tutorial at hand.

Sooooo – I reached out to a couple of suppliers I know offer kits for tutorials they don’t own.  Sadly, the answer was no.  The dragon is simply too complex a build, requiring 7 different ring sizes, as well as scales, beads, and wire.


Damn.  But the answer got my blood flowing for having a tutorial written that someone WOULD kit out.  It’s great for the chainmaille community as a whole, as it allows cross-support between the vendors and the designers, and gives new enthusiasts the chance to build some really cool things with rings they KNOW will work.


Pile o failHalf my design work ends up in the ‘well, THAT didn’t work’ bucket, awaiting deconstruction.  Or a new idea…

So I banged out a new pretty – simple (for me) design, and sat down to write out the how-to.

I’m calling this one the Mobyzan Heart, as it’s a mix of byzantine chain segments interrupted with mobius balls.  Cute, in’nt it?

Mobyzan cover 3

I have a favorable response this time – Metal Designz will be kitting out my work this time 😀